Now that we’re in the home-stretch of the holiday season, many of us are looking for last-minute gift ideas for friends and family. And let’s face it, we’re all feeling the pinch as supply chain issues and inflation send the cost of goods skyrocketing. So, have you considered baking homemade gifts? Fresh made holiday cookies and treats show your loved ones you care, and offer a wholesome and delicious alternative to commercial goods. Homemade baked goods can be produced for a fraction of the cost of what you’d spend on anything else!
We’ve identified some of our favorite recipes that are perfect for gift-giving, and offer plenty of options for personalization.
Also, here are some excellent holiday baking ideas from our members:
Here are some tips for choosing the right recipes for your holiday baking gifts:
Practice Food Safety – Safe steps in food handling, cooking, and storage are essential in preventing foodborne illness. You can’t see, smell, or taste harmful bacteria that may cause illness. Reference these Baking Food Safety Measures so you can have a safe and enjoyable experience in the kitchen.
Dietary Restrictions – Make sure you consider dietary restrictions when locating a recipe for your loved one. You know your friends. What are their likes and dislikes? If you are uncertain about their dietary restrictions, make a point of notating all the ingredients used in the recipe.
Think About Transport – Choose recipes that can be easily packaged and transported. When it comes to giving baked goods, remember that love is in the details. Make use of decorative tins, boxes and bags that will stand up to abuse during transport. Here are some addition ideas for containers from C&H Sugar:
- Decorative ceramic bowls
- An empty planter
- A casserole dish
- A mixing bowl along with a wooden spoon
- Vintage tins found at flea markets and antique shops
- A ceramic loaf pan
- A serving platter
- A bed tray
- A small fruit crate
- Hat boxes
Consider Recipe Complexity – Make sure you are realistic about the complexity of the recipe you choose. Be aware of your available time and skills when selecting a recipe. The holidays can be stressful, so there’s no point in making things more complicated than they need to be. You’ll appreciate this foresight if you are mass-producing a recipe for multiple recipients.
A Familiar Recipe – Experimentation with recipes is fun, but most likely not something you want to do when you’re under the wire. Select a recipe you’ve made before, or that employs techniques you are familiar with.
Personalize – Don’t be afraid to let your inner artist shine! Once your treats are baked and cooled, add your personal touches by bedazzling them with delicious and festive embellishments. Sprinkles, icing, powdered sugar, crushed peppermint and candy all offer ways to take your baked good to the next level! Your friends will really know you care.
Baking for friends and family during the holiday season can be a rewarding experience. With a little planning, you’ll be sure to create delicious treats that will be cherished… and you’ll save money in the process. Happy Baking!